Monthly Archives: April 2013

AN EXPERIENCE OF ICE-SKATING AT SHIMLA

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It was by good luck that I got an opportunity to get a job at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh in the beginning of my career. It is a beautiful hill station. I lived there for about two years. Our rented accommodation was on the slopes of Jakoo Hills. We had to go up and down the slopes of the hill every day, more than once. One of the attractions there was the temple on Jakoo Hills. Being a bachelor at that time, we had to come to the Mall daily in the evenings and walk on this famous road in Shimla and enjoy the weather and the tourists in the summer months. We also enjoyed roller skating, The Ridge, Horse riding, the Church and several markets in this hill station. We also went to Kufri slopes for skiing down, during the cold winter season. Winters are very cold, as we cannot get sleep even with a quilt, unless we keep a hot water bottle in between the mattress and the quilt. The water pipes get frozen and may even burst, causing lot of problems.  We have to face the falling snow, use heavy gum boots to walk on accumulated snow on the road and the slopes. Also there are chances of slipping, falling and getting injured. But we do make balls of soft snow and play and enjoy with others by throwing on them. The offices were also heated for ease and comfort of working during the severe cold weather. Amongst other good decisions, I also took a decision to join the ice-skating rink there. I arranged the skates and learnt skating on ice. The surface for this purpose was artificially prepared. I enjoyed this sport very much along with my other friends. Although I had several falls during the learning period, but fortunately nothing serious happened. After having learnt skating, it was a pleasure and I used to look forward to it. Sometimes skating was on or closed due to bad weather or some other reason, the signal was given through a large size balloon being floated in the sky, which could be seen in almost all areas of the city. There were some expert skaters, who used to practice, provide thrills and also entertain the crowd. Soon there was a fancy dress competition in the rink with skates on. I put on the clothes of a compounder and one of my friends put on the dress of a Doctor and soon we managed a dummy patient and a stretcher. Of course there were several other participants in different dresses. But all said and done, we continued enjoying ice skating till I left Shimla for better prospects, but with an unforgettable experience. In the intervening years, I understand that the ice skating rink has been much improved and modified, though I am yet to see it. Sometimes I have an inherent desire to see myself skating on ice again, in Shimla or elsewhere. Although I got an unusual opportunity to enjoy ice skating during my visit to Berlin, but for some reasons, I could not avail of this opportunity, about which I feel even till today.

                                                                                           …….vijaiksharma